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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

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CTE Mourns Loss of a Great Leader - Jim Pinchak

November 07, 2018 1:46 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)
G. James (Jim) Pinchak, PhD of Worthington, died on October 17 after a  five-year battle with cancer. He was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on March 30, 1949 to George Frank Pinchak and Angelina Maria Pinchak.

Jim’s career in Education spanned 50 years. He began his career as a teacher aide and progressed through the ranks as an academic, career & technical teacher and special needs teacher earning degrees at Miami University, Kent State University, and Bowling Green State University.

Jim served over twenty years as a high-level administrator in the Ohio Department of Education before becoming Principal & Director of the Tolles Technical Center in Plain City. He became the first person promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in The Ohio State University, College of Education & Human Ecology for Career & Technical Education. His OSU graduate program was ranked first among American graduate schools for 2017, 2018 and 2019 by USNWR. He was a leading advocate for Vocational Education and Career Development known throughout the nation and world. Near the end of life, he became a participate and supporter of “adaptive” and wheel chair sports.

He is preceded in death by his parents, two infant bothers and his loving wife Deborah Jane Paul. He is survived by his incredible son Nicolo (Nico) Paul Pinchak, Nico’s partner Kelly Holmes and numerous friends, students and extended family.  Jim believed he was able to continue to teach and live a full life for so long because of the heroic efforts of the physicians and staff of The OSU Wexner Medical Center and Hospitals.

“Jim was one of those people who challenged you to be your best and you enjoyed taking on the challenge.  He was principled, hard working, incredibly thoughtful, and a fighter.  These are rare qualities to find in people singularly.  He represented them all in one incredible human being.  Students who didn't even know him benefited from his commitment to those oft forgotten in the rush to implement favored policy.  Our lives are better for his presence.  His personality and focus on students allowed for reasoned spirited conversations guided by a desire for best in class solutions.  His passing means we will all have to work harder to continue the traditions of student focus, data-driven decisions, and human decency he exemplified.  He will be missed, but more importantly he will be remembered in our conversations moving forward.  I, for one, will be eternally grateful for his presence in my life.” - Bob Sommers, Friend and Colleague

A celebration of Jim’s life was held October 27 at The Tolles Technical Center.  The Department of Educational Studies and the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University established The G. James Pinchak Scholarship fund.  The funds will be used to provide scholarships and research support to students pursuing higher education in Career and Technical Education, and Workforce Development in Education.  Contributions can be made at www.osu.edu/giving/  (search under “Pinchak”.) Contributions can also be made by check, payable to The Ohio State University;  write “The G. James Pinchak Scholarship fund” in the memo line. Checks should be sent to:

 Ohio State University Office of Advancement

110 Arps Hall, 1945 North High Street, Columbus, OH  43201


Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

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(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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